1018 Tasting Notes

drank Banana Dream Pie by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

I love pie.

I love bananas.

I was meant to love this tea.

It tastes like Murchie’s Coconut Cream Banana. (which, coincidently, tastes like banana pie). There are around two types of “sweetness” present: the creamy banana flavour followed by a smooth dessert-sweet cocoa finish. The black base is subtle and melds with the chocolate vibe, which comes out more on second steep. No bitterness, minimal astringency, lots of happy.

I was hoping to like Cookie Dough as much as I did this one but, alas… I think I’ve enjoyed near all the banana flavoured blends David’s Tea has put out, despite the “banana” having very different “textures” in all of them. Ok, maybe the Banana Nut Bread wasn’t a huge win but I did enjoy eating it as a trail mix.

Bananas: a sure way to make me very, very happy.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Ozli

This teaaaa! So good.

CrowKettle

New best thing, ever.

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The first sip of this completely threw me off guard. One moment I was enjoying the lovely flavours that green oolong seems to have, the next moment it felt like I had very sweet smushed bananas pressed against the back of my mouth. I thought it was some kind of weird not-sugar splenda thing but as I continued sipping it became clear that it was all bananas. It’s a little disconcerting how dramatic the bananas are, to be honest. They taste more “real” than the oolong- which makes the transition between the two slightly awkward.

I picked up one of the banana cubes in the wet leaves and they taste like one would expect, although a tad sweeter. Maybe I should steep it longer to bring out more oolong.

Second Steep at six minutes: The liquid smells so good! I have a hard time describing oolong but the aroma is a mixture of that and fresh banana. This is a vast improvement; the banana and oolong flavours no longer feel like their divided by a Pink Floyd-esque wall of social contact. Smooth transition is achieved. The oolong is milky and buttery; the banana is creamy sweet and the liveliest I’ve ever tasted it in tea.

Third steep is my ideal cup. Mostly creamy green oolong with the light banana sweetness faded mostly to the background.

I don’t know what gives with my first steep. If I had based my judgement on that I would have given something around a “70”. As it turns out, repeated steeps make this something I want to keep around.

Preparation
200 °F / 93 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Ninavampi

Great review! :)

Cavocorax

" I have a hard time describing oolong " – YES! THIS!
Sounds like an interesting combination though!

CrowKettle

Thanks! This was a very neat, and surprisingly good, combination. I think I had a disproportionate amount of stevia leaves though, which caused the splenda feel.

When I’ve given friends a cup of oolong for the first time their reaction is usually “oh, this taste very much like…oolong.” At least I’m not the only one who has difficulties with the description. :)

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drank Wild Black Yunnan by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

Guuuuuuuuh!!! This is so amazing! How much is this? Is it a lot? I need to a buy a giant tin of this, and then another tin so the first tin can have a friend! Oh, it’s somewhat expensive… Maybe just one tin, then.

After trying the Kenyan Tinderet tonight, I was wary of getting kicked in the butt by another straight black tea so I steeped it at exactly three minutes. I needn’t have worried, however, as this tea seems much more user friendly.

First impression: hot wet leaves smell even more horrifying than Tinderet or Nepal Black. They’re like dirt, and fallen leaves, and dampness, and strong beer, and (vegetarian) Fenrir’s breath, and… they’re immense! When they’ve cooled down the leaves have a decadently sweet aroma. Very Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde- or maybe I’m just crazy.

Second Impression: That is the most amazing creamy sweet finish in the entire solar system!!! The tea is jam-packed with floral honey awesomeness with a dash of something peppery. It also has a bit of that typical black earthy body but I’m too distracted by that end bit to really dissect what’s happening in the first part right now.

I know the list may be short but this has now become my top black tea. That it’s 3:40am right now may be the cause of this reaction but this may be one of the best things to happen to me, tea-wise.

I’m so very glad I ordered some more Yunnan from Verdant the other day. Since I don’t know my straights very well I just picked a bunch of things at random. If the Zhu Rong Yunnan Black, or even the Yunnan White Jasmine, are anything like this one it will be a very good time. I’ll likely be speechless.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
cteresa

I had recently another tea a bit like that – I do not like the smell, oh no indeed, it was a mistake. But as soon as it got even the hint of water (the steam from the pot) it became magic! I usually decide to buy using my nose, and it was humbling that some of the best things I ever had I would not have bought if I had trusted only nose! I got to keep that in mind in the future.

cteresa

And Yunnan can be so good indeed!

CrowKettle

It’s something I need to keep in mind too. I never would have bought this tea, and many others, based on aroma. The dry leaves smell like an average black tea and the hot damp ones are appalling!

I might be jumping to conclusions with this first impression of Yunnan, ever, but I think I’m in love. I don’t know if this particular Yunnan will be the one to have a final place in my cupboards but there will definitely always be some kind of Yunnan now.

CrowKettle

The creamy aftertaste is still there after finishing my cup an hour ago.

cteresa

It sounds like a winner! And you are so right about the scent. I am just having something which is oh so lovely (the white peony from peony Tea S) and where the dry leaf smells wonderfully and each steep is great – but oh my, some of the infusions did not smell nice while it was steeping, way too grassy or harsh. It did not pass to the liquor though! Magic. Tea is really not obvious.

Cavocorax

Added to shopping list! I’d better try at least 20g of this because you make it sound so good!

CrowKettle

I hope you experience even half the joy that I got out of this tea if you end up getting some! Even if you don’t, I felt like it was an eye-opener to try a Yunnan; it has a quirky taste profile :)

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drank Amaretto by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

There are so many “never hads” about this tea. I’ve never had Amaretto. I’ve never had lapacho. I’ve never had a rose flavoured tea or beverage… etc.

I have had Alpine Punch, though, and this tastes and smells pretty similar! Both remind me of those instant angel food cakes. There are vague hints of creamy sweet marzipan, mostly coming from the nuttiness of the flavour. I don’t know almonds very well but the finish is distinctly full of them.

Hm, I don’t know how I feel about this one. I think I prefer Alpine Punch. Would Amaretto go well with real amaretto? Maybe iced, or as a latte? Altogether, not bad, but I’ll have to try some of the alcohol to see how this holds up.

Eating dry blend: The lapacho is rather bitter tasting. All the dry bits have this artificial sweet cherry taste to them. That same flavour is also noticeable mid-note when it has been steeped.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 30 sec

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70
drank Kenyan Tinderet by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

What a pleasant cup of coffee! A heap of astringency and a smidgen of bitterness… Oh, coffee! I wish I wasn’t a wimp and could drink you straight but I’m just completely incapable- maybe as a double double from Tim Horten’s or with enough syrup and whip cream to sink a buffalo? Ah, There! All better. Now you taste like a “Dark” Hot Chocolate with a little bite at the end!

Um, well, apparently this isn’t coffee but I don’t drink a lot of that stuff, OR black teas, so please forgive me! This is exactly the kind of black tea I hide from. It’s not because it’s “bad” but because I am a weakling and I feel like anything this strong will crush me. I don’t have the stamina to handle such briskness. Maybe I need to train myself up.

The leaves are cool looking! They’re little round balls that give off a malty odour when wet which I found to be a bit intimidating at first, not being able to handle beer very well- on top of my intolerance to coffee.

In reference to where the tea is from, Tinderet apparently means ‘Place of Lightening’. It’s fitting as I do feel like I am being struck by a bolt while sipping on this. Whereas I can’t drink the first steep of this straight yet I can, and do, enjoy the second steep on its own- much more mellow and smooth, but with enough edginess to stay vibrant. There’s even a hint of floral sweetness that I love so much in my white teas. This is a very strong, full bodied tea and I wasn’t expecting such a delicate note to be found underneath all of that force.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 30 sec

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drank Oh Canada! by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

I’m relieved this doesn’t taste as strongly as the aroma from the dry leaves suggests. I think I would have exploded from a sweetness overload! Even though it’s turned down a notch, this cup of rooibos seems to ooze maple syrup. I’m surprised the liquid doesn’t leave a sticky sluggish residue in my mug- the flavour is that vivid.

I feel like I should have a side of pancakes with this tea; this syrupy condiment needs something to accompany it. I wonder if this could be incorporated into some kind of recipe. The toffee flavour also reminds me of those delicious maple toffee pops. Oh, I want one of those so badly now!! Delicious syrupy snow toffee… maybe I can pretend to eat you if I ice this rooibos blend?

It’s lovely how the natural sweetness of the rooibos and honeybush pair to create such a distinct maple flavour. The rooibos is noticeable but blends soundly with the sugary additions of toffee and caramel.

I have a handful of teas I like to drink with Hazelnut Bailey’s and this is one of them. Alternatively, it’s good with some kind of milk as it helps cut back some of the overwhelming sweetness, and there is no doubt that this tea is very sweet. There’s a touch of saltiness to it too, almost like salted caramel, but it isn’t a dominant flavour. This is perfect for a cold winter evening but not something I would be able to handle all the time.

Now I know where to go if I ever feel the urge to down container of maple syrup.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
Ozli

Huh, this sounds super intriguing to me! I had a maple black tea lately and it didn’t have nearly enough flavour – maybe if we mixed the two :P

CrowKettle

If your missing syrup flavour this can only be your friend. I think a black base would do wonders by cutting back on the sweetness too. Good idea :)

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I ended up finishing the last of this sample after all, along with Main Squeeze, this night/morning… My eternal clock is really messed up right now and it feels like 4pm despite being 6am.

I dumped nearly 6 grams in my 700ml (24 oz) teapot because, like the Main Squeeze, the first time I had this I found it to be on the weak side. It reminds me of Tetley’s Pomegranate Green Tea, as well- watery,fruity, and green. Kiwi apple flavour is very prevalent with a finishing taste of lemony green. Sweet, puckering tart, clean green with a A dash of prickliness.I do like that flow of flavours and that I can taste the tea in this one but I’m, unfortunately, not the biggest fan of kiwi. I’m also not huge on the watery broth that this tea has. I guess I’m craving something with more body. Despite all of that this is a unique tea that kiwi and fruity green tea lovers should try at least once.

Preparation
185 °F / 85 °C 3 min, 0 sec

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drank Main Squeeze by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

Dry leaves smell almost like Elf Help. The first time I had this was little over a month ago and I found it to be a bit weak for my tastes.

Tonight I decided I wanted something fruity- it was a toss up between the remainder of this or Kiwi’s Big Adventure. Remembering how watery it was the first time, I dumped the last of my fourteen gram sample into my teapot and let it sit for six minutes.

Taking the wet leaves out, wooooo! Is there really no ginger OR orange in this? It smells almost exactly like my ginger pineapple orange drink that I get at the university. It’s zappy.

The flavour is more toned down than the aroma but it’s still deceiving! The leafy materiel and pineapple come together to give it a pleasant acidic citrus note but it’s mostly sweetness- like SunnyD? Safflower contributes a nice oily sweet texture.

This time around, Main Squeeze wasn’t a bad drink at all! I bet this would be good iced. Still, I can’t help but think this is some relative to Elf Help every time I take a sip. Maybe it’s the candy orange papaya notes.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 6 min, 0 sec
crazy4u

Main squeeze was one of my favorites I have tryed yet. I also like elf help. And now that I think about it they do taste similar, but I think I tasted more things in elf help. But both yummy but they both can be bland at times, but I think it has more to do with r lol

CrowKettle

It’s been ages since I’ve had Elf Help but it was my first fruity candy tea so I compare it to almost everything (maybe unfairly)! I can understand where the love for Main Squeeze comes from though- it’s so sweet, refreshing and clean. Maybe in the summer I’ll appreciate it more!

I hear you on “it’s more to do with me” too. Sometimes I read the tasting notes on hear and it feels like I’m drinking a completely different thing. Once in a while i can blame that to having an odd ingredient ratio in a blend but oftentimes it’s just my funny preferences kicking in :)

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drank Jungle Ju Ju by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

This is more of a practical beverage than one of pleasure but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste good. That’s just an added bonus.

Jungle Ju Ju is my most trusted friend when I need stay up all night to get something in. It’s also good to drink the morning of an exam after I’ve stayed up all night to get something in… See how that works?

I remember the first time I tried this: a friend was visiting me on the island and had decided to buy some of this after I dragged her to David’s Tea (I drag everyone to David’s Tea). She was leaving at 6am the next morning and, not wanting to miss a new experience, I decided to drink a pot at 12am. I Could Not get to sleep and was still running in circles by the time she arose to catch the first bus outside the house. Oh, my. I guess I’m very susceptible to caffeine stimulants, or placebos, or both.

The flavour is earthy leaf with the sweetness of candied fruit. Out of all the blends with fruit pieces this is my favourite one to snack on. There’s a bit of bitterness to this tisane but it’s a good kind of bitterness. Reminiscent of coffee beans. Perhaps, it’s because I steep it for a kalpa.

Anyways, If I’m drinking this it means I have school obligations to fulfill so good night world! See you after deadlines!

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 7 min, 0 sec
crazy4u

I have been looking at this one for awile… I think I’m going to order this one next!

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70
drank Nepal Black by DAVIDsTEA
1018 tasting notes

There is certainly a taste of honey to this straight black tea. I also get a “wheaty”, “beer-ish”, malty taste. The aroma of the wet leaves is strong with the malt too. The effect leads to a cup that is both sweet and full with enough astringency to give it good character. The honey note even makes a certain song play endlessly in my head. It’s quite magical, really. It tastes delicious both with or without milk.

I haven’t tried many straight black teas. Even during the David’s Tea straight promotion this is the only black tea I sampled. David’s Tea has a mixed bag of straights but Nepal Black is one of the better ones. I have a small bag but I’m unsure if this will become a staple. I need to try more blacks and check out Verdant Tea before I make a decision but right now I’m leaning on a yes…

“I’ll come back for the honey……….AND YOUUUUUUUUUUU!"

Yes. I am ashamed of myself.

Preparation
205 °F / 96 °C 3 min, 0 sec
Bonnie

No shame on Steepster!

CrowKettle

Thanks Bonnie! That’s nice to know, although you haven’t heard my singing voice :)

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Bio

I started my Steepster loose leaf adventure back in 2012. I can’t say I’m completely new anymore, but I still view oolong as a magical, extraterrestrial creature that unfurls in water.

Favourite Flavours/Ingredients:

-Vanilla, Maple, Caramel, Cream, Toffee, Nougat, Marzipan
-All Citrus: Lime, Grapefruit, Lemon, Bergamot, Orange, Yuzu
-Anise, but not licorice
-Ginger or Clove-forward chai
-Rosemary
-Grass/Marine/Vegetal/Nutty Green teas
-Florals: Rose, Lavender, Jasmine…
-Musky and/or Woody Incense-like stuff: Sandalwood, Frankincense, Eucalyptus
-Berries: Blackberry, Raspberry, Currants, Blueberry, Elderberry
-Bananas, and most fruits actually.

Less Preferred Flavours/Ingredients:

-Stevia and most sweetners
-Cinnamon-forward chai/blends
-Apple & Cranberries
-Mango pieces (love mango outside of tea though)
-Coconut pieces (as a sub/filler ingredient)
-Metallic or overly artificial teas
-Cocoa Nibs, 95% of the time.

Subjective Rating System 3.0:

90-100: My absolute favourite tea. I’ll impulsively buy in large quantities and hoard like a dragon.

85-89: A favourite tea. I’ll try to keep this one around when it’s practical.

76-84: A good tea, but not one I’m likely to order again.

70-75: Alright, but I may have a few problems with quality, consistency, ingredient chemistry and/or personal preferences.

50-69: Average to mediocre cup.

11-49: Varying levels of undrinkable tea. I don’t give a lot of these ratings out, since I tend to grab tea I know will appeal to me.

1-10: Nightmare tea from the chaos realms. This tea is the embodiment of the primordial swamp, the unholy abomination that is a chimera. It’s very gross and I’m almost positive it doesn’t exist.

Location

BC, Canada

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